Mother Earth Housing — Solid Earth Communities

Mother Earth gives us a way to build affordable, durable housing that also helps to grow community.
Mother Earth Housing has significant advantages:  Solid earth.  Local soil.  Common ground.  Dirt cheap.

Our nonprofit doesn’t think we have “the answer” to a crisis this enormous.  Our country needs more than a magic “solution.”  We need solution paths that bring stakeholders together.  Solid Earth Communities, our nonprofit, wants to be a resource in this effort.  We’ve learned to create common ground while also building affordable housing.    

  •    We’ve done it.  We built a 2,500-sq ft. showroom in Juarez, Mexico; the city also used our machine to build walls in local parks.  Villagers in Tibet learned to use our machine and built 50 houses.  Work crews at the Pine Ridge Reservation built both a house and solar-powered office with our machine.  Our machine was used in West Virginia to build dorms at a science camp.  This ancient—and now updated—approach to home-building still works just fine. 
  •    Our portable, patented machine makes compressed-earth blocks (CEB) that emerge tongue-in-groove from it,    so the blocks can be dry-stacked and cured for a week, ready to build solid earth walls without the need for mortar.  
  •    We build using sub-soil found almost anywhere, using a little Portland cement as a binder—all of it compressed by our machine’s diesel engine.  Our machine was designed using off-the-shelf parts, and was designed without computer chips so it can be used in rough terrain and can be repaired in the field with commonly available parts. 
  •  We create jobs.  We need 4-6 workers to run our machine and stack blocks to cure.  Future residents can be hired     to help build their own housing—and working alongside each other creates neighbors, even before they move in. 

Mother Earth Housing built with our CEB machine offers benefits in cost, durability—and in comfort.

  •  No supply-chain issues.  Using common sub-soil means no delay getting building material.  It’s already on-site.   
  • Low-cost.  CEB housing is truly affordable.  And if future residents help by stacking blocks, this reduces the cost of hiring construction professionals to perform this repetitive and time-consuming but necessary task. 
  • Durable.  After a 2019 “climate bomb” flooded homes across the Lakota Nation at Pine Ridge, destroying many structures, among the few left standing were the house and office built with our machine.  Despite sitting for days in 3 feet of water, our pressurized earth-blocks remained solid and intact.  They had not turned to mud. 
  •  Fire-proof.  Sound-proof.  Thermally efficient.  Since earth does not burn, CEB houses are fire-proof.  And at    12 inches thick, CEB walls are sound-proof.  And with only one heat-transfer in 24 hours, not 10-20 as in “stick” houses, CEB houses need far less heating or air conditioning, thereby cutting future ownership costs significantly. 
  • Comfortable—and in a way that can be healing.  Owners of CEB houses report feeling “hugged” by their walls, since the soil in the walls retains vitality.  Ask any gardener: touching Mother Earth feels good.  For people who have undergone the trauma of homelessness, the experience of living in a Mother Earth house can be healing.